going braless

The Story of My Sexual Awakening

I was the kid in high school that couldn’t even say the word sex without going purple in the face. I was very sheltered growing up. I went to a small private Christian school, and I wasn’t allowed free reign of the internet or TV until college. My mom never had any sort of talk with me about my body or sex; I had to get my older sister to teach me to use a tampon. 

Flash forward to my freshman year of college, I had never been kissed and everything I knew about sex was from watching Carrie Diaries on my friend’s Netflix account so my mom wouldn’t see. Let’s just say I was in for a rude awakening. Within my first few days of college, I was given condoms (which I had never seen in real life before) and listened to my RA talk about her dildos at a hall meeting. 

I was overwhelmed. My strict religious upbringing instilled me with such shame surrounding any sort of sexuality related topic. I just decided that I was not a sexual person, and I needed to remain this way to avoid eternal damnation. I gravitated toward the crowd of people I had known in high school: the highly religious judgy types. The only conversations we had about sex were only about how we were all waiting until marriage. 

After my first semester, these Christian friends that I had made abandoned me because I was “getting too wild.” But it took this rejection for me to find people who were willing to accept me without judgement and to make deeper friendships with people who introduced me to judgement-free conversations about sex and sexuality. 

Over the next year, I took a break from religion and started toying with the idea of my own sexuality. I started to realize that sexuality is part of being human, and that I didn’t need to be ashamed. I bought my first vibrator and started to explore my body. 

This past fall, I had my first ever boyfriend. Before I started dating him, I had decided that I was no longer waiting until marriage to have sex. After dating for 3 months, we “did the deed.” Although this is what I wanted, the guilt I felt afterwards was overwhelming. Thoughts like, “What would my mom say? No one will want to marry me now. I have to marry him now,” flooded my brain. I found myself back in that shameful mindset despite all the work I had done on myself. After several therapy sessions, I was able to identify the unhealthy religious residue all over my feelings about sex. 

The relationship turned not-so-great when I went back to school and we started long distance. After several weeks of feeling unhappy and unvalued, I realized the only reason I was staying in the relationship was because we’d had sex. I had found myself giving him so many chances and not understanding why until this realization. Once I decided that was not a good enough reason to stay with him, it was easy to end the relationship. I felt a sense of relief and empowerment that I was able to do what was best for me despite my internal dialogue. 

The story of discovering my sexuality is not over. It was waxed and waned over these last few years, and I still have a lot of growing and self-acceptance to do. But I wanted my story to be one of encouragement and to encourage others to not be weighed down by shame and to explore their sexuality!